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*** The competition for 2024 entry is now closed ***

Royal Holloway is the lead member of the Techne Doctoral Training Partnership, which offers Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) studentships, funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). 

What is Techne?

Techne currently comprises 9 universities and is one of the 10 AHRC Doctoral Training Partnerships. Techne's vision is to produce scholars who are highly motivated and prepared for academic, public or professional life.  Its students will benefit from a diverse range of training workshops and opportunities to engage with partners in the arts and cultural sector.

What studentships are available?

There are around 45 awards made each year in the open competition for students who are applying to undertake PhD study.  If you are in your first year of PhD study, you can apply for funding for the second and third year of your programme (at least 50% of your PhD must remain by the time the studentship commences).

Studentships include stipend and UK rate fees for 3.5 years (42 months) for a full time student, or 7 years (84 months) for a part-time student (50% of the full-time rate of stipend).  This is pro rata if you have already started your PhD.

You should note that you must submit your thesis during your funded period and by your funding end date.

Application process

You may apply to Techne for a doctoral award by submitting an application through Royal Holloway. 

Techne awards are available in the following subjects at Royal Holloway:

Subject Royal Holloway Department
Cultural Geography Geography
Philosophy Politics, International Relations, and Philosophy
Development Studies Geography and  Politics, International Relations, and Philosophy
English and Creative Writing English
Modern Languages and Literatures Languages, Literatures and Cultures
Comparative Literatures and Cultures Languages, Literatures and Cultures
Theology, Divinity, Religion Classics and History
Media, Film and TV Media Arts
Music Music
Drama and Theatre Drama, Theatre and Dance
Cultural Studies English and Media Arts
Classics Classics
History History
Law Law and Criminology

Once you have identified the department you would like to apply through, you will need to undertake the following steps:

  1. Please ensure you are familiar with the AHRC’s eligibility criteria, and their terms and conditions, before beginning an application.  Please see the eligibility section below.
  2. Contact the Director of Postgraduate Research Education, or potential supervisor in the relevant department, to discuss your research proposal, the supervision that may be available, and whether you might be considered a suitable candidate for a Techne award.  You can also check with the department on their selection process.
  3. If the Director of Postgraduate Research Education agrees that you may be a suitable candidate for a Techne award, you will be invited to submit an application to Techne via the Techne online portal.  Further information on submitting your application to the Techne online portal is available from the Techne Application Guidance Notes, available on the home page of the portal.
  4. You will also need to submit an application for a PhD place to Royal Holloway.  You can find out how to do this on our Admissions page.
Application deadline

The deadline for applications to be submitted to Royal Holloway's Techne competition is midday on Monday 29 January 2024, but departments will set their own earlier application deadlines - please check with them directly where not noted below.

Politics, International Relations, and Philosophy: Sunday 7 January 2024, 11.59pm

Law and Criminology: Sunday 7 January 2024, 11.59pm

Drama, Theatre and Dance: Monday 15 January 2024

Music: Monday 15 January 2024

Media Arts: Monday 15 January 2024

English: Monday 15 January 2024

Languages, Literatures and Cultures: Monday 15 January 2024

Classics: Monday 15 January 2024

History: Monday 15 January 2024

Geography: Friday 5 January 2024, 5pm

Assessment process

There are three stages to the competition:

  1. Departmental internal review
  2. College institutional review
  3. Techne external review

If the department agrees to put your application forward to the Royal Holloway open competition (Stage 1), it will be considered by internal panels of subject experts at Royal Holloway (Stage 2).

You will hear from your selected department in February whether your application will go forward to the Techne stage of the competition. If your application does progress into the open competition (Stage 3) you will hear in April whether or not it has been successful.

Unsuccessful applicants from Stage 2 may be considered for University studentships by a School panel and you should hear the outcome in May.

Further details of the assessment process can be found on the Techne website.

The timetable for the competition is as follows:

January 2023

Application deadline set by each department (Stage 1)

Mon 29 Jan, midday

Deadline for applications selected by departments to be submitted on both Techne and Royal Holloway portals

Tue 13 – Wed 14 Feb

University internal panel meetings (Stage 2)

Thu 15 – Wed 21 Feb

Applications selected by internal panels amended by candidates following feedback from panels

Wed 21 Feb, midnight

University deadline for revised applications to be finalised on Techne portal (Stage 3)

Tue 27 Feb

Applications reviewed by Peer Review College members

Tue 19 Mar

Applications moderated by Subject Group members

Wed 17 Apr

Techne Subject Group review meetings

Wed 24 Apr

Techne Management Group meeting – final decision on awards

Fri 26 Apr onwards

Candidates notified of outcome of competition

AHRC terms and conditions and eligibility

All AHRC awards are subject to the AHRC and UKRI Terms and Conditions. Please ensure that you are familiar with them. They are set out in three documents which can be accessed via the 'Manage your award' page on the UKRI website:

  • UKRI Terms and Conditions of Training Grants
  • UKRI Training Grant Guidance
  • AHRC studentships: additional requirements for research organisations and award holders 

Note that EU students are now classed as international students and the AHRC/UKRI competition has been opened to all international students who may apply for a UK fees and stipend award.  Successful recipients of a UKRI scholarship will receive a fee award from the University covering the difference between home fees and international fees.

You can find current stipend and fee rates, as well as other support provided by UKRI for studentship award holders here: 'Get a studentship to fund your doctorate' page on the UKRI website.

Got a question?

Please email if you have any enquiries about the Techne application process at Royal Holloway.

Further help and advice

Techne has produced a set of films to help you understand more about what it means to undertake a PhD, talking to supervisors and students about a range of aspects including application, finance and career opportunities: PhD Lifecycle films.


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